Closed Bug 28028 Opened 25 years ago Closed 20 years ago image rights


( :: Miscellaneous, task)

Not set


(Not tracked)



(Reporter: dmosedale, Assigned: mitchell)



(Keywords: helpwanted)

Jason Kersey recently sent the following mail:

Subject: Image Rights
Date:    Thu, 10 Feb 2000 21:29:09 -0500
From:    Jason Kersey <>

Chris Nelson and myself are looking to garner submissions for banner
ads, buttons, or other ways to publicize Mozilla on a website.  We want
to be clear on what we can and cannot accept for images.
(we assume) owns the Red Dino in the header image, as well as the
banners in .  Is there a license for these images? 
Can we use them without any problems?  We don't want to get in any
trouble with using these images, nor do we want to have to pull any
images off the site, after they have been posted.  Dawn Endico tried
earlier to find out about this, but she got no response.

We would like to get this underway as soon as possible, so we can get
people using Mozilla, bug testing, and helping achieve a better browser
for all.  Up to this point, there has been little, if any, PR for the
project, other than poor articles, and we want to show that
people are using Mozilla.

Any help, or support, would be much appreciated with this.  Mainly, we
want to have people use either the Red Dino, or any of the art in the
/banners directory, to create banners and/or buttons, supporting
Mozilla.  Any one who knows anything about licenses for those images, or
any info about usage restrictions on those images is asked to get in
touch with me,, so we can get going on this.

Thanks for any help!
Yes, some sort of permission is necessary to use the orange dino.  I'll look into 
this.  It may take a week or so though, I'll need to do some research.
This bug has not been touched for more than nine months. In most cases, that 
means it has "slipped through the net". Please could the owner take a moment to 
add a comment to the bug with current status, and/or close it.

Thank you :-)

Hah!  a week or so, or so I thought.  But I am making progress, have a draft
here from the legal folks.  I don't like the draft yet, but it's better than
when we started.  Still planning to resolve this.
Blocks: 32218
maybe some *keywords* can help focus this bug: mozilla0.9.3, helpwanted,
nsbeta1, correctness, UI.

How about getting a *target milestone* (mozilla1.0) and priority (P2)?

This is something that should have been cleared way in the beginning of the
mozilla project, not 5 minutes before the final exam (mozilla 1.0).
I agree with Peter.

This bug should be target: mozilla1.0

Many icons and graphics have to be made 'final' before 1.0,
and in order to do so, we need the information on what we are allowed to use
where, and who owns what, etc...
Just a gentle reminder that it's now 4 mintues before the final exam and I added
an icon design bug to the list of bugs that this bug blocks.  Specifically, the
Mozilla (giant, possibly radioactive, lizzard proper name) image needs to be
cleared for use in Mozilla (product proper name).

Is there fear that someone will abuse the licenses and misuse the image without
recourse? The only alternative would be to not have the whole tree under one
license, which is bad(tm), so if someone does have that concern we need to help
them get over it.
Keywords: mozilla1.0
We're 2 milestone (potentially) from 1.0. Is it really this hard to say "all
images are trademark and all rights are explicitly reserved.
Redistribution is prohibited without prior written consent from"?
Just look at how NFL games are broadcast. It's the same basic principle.
Time is not on our side... what's the deal here.

This is a blocker and, in my opinion, a show stopper!

In a world currently dominated by "branding" ideology, this needs to be adressed
to ensure the Mozilla brand leaves a good aesthetic impression, not a coder's
personal cartoonish joke.
Right.. nothing is happening here.

I have mailed several people at about the image rights, but they
seem to ignore my requests.

I'm nominating this bug for the following keywords:
4xp, because I believe Navigator 4.x has different icons
access, because people are stupid
qawanted and helpwanted, because nothing is happening here
mozilla1.0+, because it needs to be resolved

It should also get higher priority, severity, and target milestone.

And it's not Platform/OS "Other", it's "All".

What about adding to the cc: list ?

Doing the above things will hopefully attract more attention to this bug.
From the staff list:

"Mitchell is the general troubleshooter, spokesperson and policy arbitrator for She works extensively with companies and projects using Mozilla.
This involves explaining processes, listening to the needs of

Hmm. Since the last comment by Mitchell more than 14 months have passed. I would
say that since then a considerable amount of trouble has emerged and quite a lot
of contributors are in need of a solution to this problem. 

I do understand that this problem cannot/shouldn't be discussed in public. I do
not understand, however, why it takes such a long time to be solved.

Without adding to the ever repeating list of arguments *why* this should get
solved, I have one question: *Does* this issue get solved by 1.0 or, if not,
what is the current status?
Blocks: 131239
IMO all images, icons ... should be MPL/GPL/LGPL like all the other stuff !!

What images? All images checked-in into the cvs. And then only those images
should be used for Mozilla design, homepage, merchandising ...

If someone ckecks-in images there he agrees to this. And when we find some cool
stuff we should ask the author to do so.
1.0 is out of the door and there still seems to be no clarity about this issue.
What was supposed to take a week took more than _two years_ now. IMO that's
enough time to do something that should be doable in a week, now matter how bad
your planning is ;)

Is there _any_ news on this? What is the status? What isn't clear yet? Who or
what are we waiting for? Reasons why this has a low priority?

Ms. Baker?
Since the all-new pages still use the 
dino head, I suppose that the issue with red-dino has

a) either been (silently) resolved,
b) or that it didn't matter since the new dino isn't the same as the one 
   used originally.
c) the consistant and persistant use of the dino, irrespective of the 'style',
   has made the dino the de-facto logo of 
d) IIRC, if netscape had wanted to object to its use, they would have needed 
   to do so within three years of the first infringing act that came to their 
   attention. ('statute of limitations')
An intellectual property attorney should be consulted for professional legal
Andrew Hagen: Correct. Mitchell is that person.

Since it's been a while since Mitchell or any other Mozilla/Netscape personel
has commented here, I'm changing some things on this bug in order to get it moving.

If anybody feels I've done anything wrong, please don't hesitate to report.

I've done my share of email-lovin' with crew about this bug, and
they don't seem to care.. perhaps someone will notice this bug if we give it the
right push.
Severity: normal → blocker
Keywords: helpwanted, qawanted
OS: other → All
Priority: P3 → P1
Hardware: Other → All
Target Milestone: --- → mozilla1.0
NEVER cahnge the target milestone and prioity fields if you are not the assigned 
Priority: P1 → --
Target Milestone: mozilla1.0 → ---
changing severity from blocker to normal.  this bug does not block development
or testing (both continue to occur successfully).

removing keyword "qawanted".  there is no qa issue here that i can tell.
Severity: blocker → normal
Keywords: qawanted
This is slightly off-topic, but if you're going to use could you at least make it compliant with W3C

Actually, thinking about it, I could do this if someone could work with me to
get the HTML up on Comments? (Probably best if direct to me via eMail)
given the "reality on the ground", so to speak, i suggest unblocking bug 32218,
bug 73712, and bug 88393 from this one.  closing those bugs shouldn't rely on
the status of this one.

bug 131239 should still be blocked since it seems relatively obvious that
licensing and rights issues are more signficant when actual cash flow occurs.
If this isn't going to happen eventually (and there does not appear
to be any reason to believe that it might), shouldn't we mark it
WONTFIX and create new images (not based on existing trademarks)
that _can_ be redistributed under the terms and conditions necessary?

(I mean, allow the new images to be used and modified and packaged and
redistributed as part of the software and in or with 
documents thereunto pertaining or other materiels that may be necessary 
for the production, improvement, use, redistribution, or promotion of 
said software, and somesuch legalese as may be deemed appropriate by 
the aforementioned organisation or its designees, henceforward "the 
interested parties", exclusive of any third-party indications to the 
contrary, unless the third-party making such indications ("the 
indicator") shall have introduced elements ("the introduced elements) 
not derived from these images ("the images") in which case the introduced
 elements may be licensed under terms provided by the indicator, which 
must be stated immediately upon introduction of the introduced elements 
or they shall be /dev/null and void(), or something along those lines, 
or whatever.)

Seriously, all we really need is for someone to draw up the legalese
necessary for the images to be properly useful to, and
then new images can be created and licensed under that legalese.

Retrofitting new legalese to old images is realistically going to
remain problematic, as demonstrated by the horrific longevity of
this bug, which has remained largely static while current bug 
numbers have increased more than fivefold.  Furthermore, even when
this bug was filed in early 2000, over two years ago, at _that_ 
time the reported expressed frustration that he had been unable
already to get a significant response on this.  The last remotely
meaningful comment from the assignee ("have a draft, don't like 
it yet, still planning to resolve this") was made over 17 months 
ago -- in Mozilla development time, that's another era, before
Mozilla 0.6 came out.  At that pace, there is almost no hope that
this bug will make Mozilla 2.0, and no surety it will make 3.0
either.  Time to change strategy.  It will not take two years to 
create new images from scratch, images that can be used without 
the issues that surround the old ones.  It won't take a year, 
and is unlikely to take six months, perhaps as little as three.  

Somebody tell me I'm wrong quick, before I decide to file a bug
for the new artwork and start working on it.
I concur. Finding artists to donate their time to resolve this issue is going to
be a million times easier than finding lawyers to donate their time to resolve
this issue.

If someone can provide me information about what images are required, I bet can
find somebody to do it.
As has been repeatedly stated: doesn't seem to *want* new artwork. 
They want to work out the legalese *first* and then get the images.  Submitting
unasked for artwork has been ignored in the past, and I assume will also be in
the future.
hmmm. So basically the artists have to sit around doing nothing until somebody
writes a MPIL (Mozilla Public Image License) under which images can be added to
the tree?
if i may attempt to possibly clarify:

any images that may be included in the mozilla source code under the
mpl/gpl/lgpl triple license could no longer be considered images "unique" to
mozilla, and therefore could be used by just about anyone for just about
anything.  on the other hand, including images or other data under a strict
proprietary license or trademark or copyright or whatnot to specifically connect
mozilla images to's projects could conflict with the triple license.
 there is possibly (hopefully) some type of reasonable intermediate.

at the risk of the pot calling the kettle black, please try to restrict further
comments to the actual positive furthering of the resolution of this bug.
It appears the issue has been resolved with the latest milestone.  And I must
admit that this simple little addition of a gorgeous set of icons puts a stamp
of professionalism on the project.

Yes, actually I was wondering how those icons got checked in with this bug still

Has reached a conclusion about images in our builds or are we just
ignoring the issue by putting new icons in?
Keywords: mozilla1.0mozilla1.1
Re: comment 27: I just figured that Windows got to completely ignore the rules
and do whatever it wanted. Then I grumbled.

The entire situation is foobared if you ask me. A unified icon set across all
platforms would be so nice.

Since I can't vote on this bug, consider this post to be my vote. Don't complain
that  i'm spamming the bug (which I am). The voting system was instituted to
prevent useless "This bug should be fixed" posts, so since I can't vote I will
just say: this bug should be fixed.

Over the last few months this has gnawed away at my sanity, and is now my most
hated. It has done this not in a direct and straight forward way, but by the
amount of effort it has wasted from many talented volunteers who have donated
their time, and have been often berated for it.

I have seen many splash screens that blow away our current (copyright
infringing) model in about any categories you care to name. In Bug 88393 i have
seen icons which put to shame anything officially adopted by moz, but I have a
sneaking suspicion that all this good work is going to go to waste.

I'm tired of seeing artists with more talent than i could ever dream of having
getting flamed for attempting to help the situation.
"any images that may be included in the mozilla source code under the
mpl/gpl/lgpl triple license could no longer be considered images "unique" to
mozilla, and therefore could be used by just about anyone for just about

Yes, this is a free software project. It's the idea that every part of mozilla
can get reused for just everything that comes to your or anyones mind. Images
aren't a special case. As much as we can't take proprietary code without the
owner giving a triple mpl/gpl/lgpl license we can't use images that are blocked
by someones intellectual properties claims. And there is no way of making
mozilla a branded browser itself without making it unfree. It's not the idea of
mozilla being a branded browser and it's not necessary, it has it's place in an
evergrowing heterogenous community. The only problem I can see is with the
lizard being owned by netscape(?). But there's no problem with people making
their own artwork for mozilla and releasing it under the mozilla triple license.
Naturally all the artwork with the lizard in it would have to be redone *if* the
lizard still is a problem.
> But there's no problem with people making their own artwork for 
> mozilla and releasing it under the mozilla triple license.

See comment #23.  

> Naturally all the artwork with the lizard in it would have to 
> be redone *if* the lizard still is a problem.

This lizard is still a problem; otherwise, this bug would have
been RESOLVED FIXED.  It hasn't been resolved and is unlikely to 
_ever_ be FIXED.  If would be willing to take fresh 
artwork, we could mark this bug as WONTFIX and file a fresh bug
for creating acceptable artwork.  As it stands, it appears that is operating under the pretense that this issue will
eventually be fixed, which is getting more unlikely all the time.
Apparently, we have to wait for them to wake up and realise that
it's never going to happen that way, before we can proceed to
do what needs to be done instead (i.e., create fresh artwork).
Toho, "the owner of all rights in and to the trademark and service mark GODZILLA
and the GODZILLA characters", is attacking for Dave's use of
"zilla" and his dragon logo. See

This has received coverage at /The register/ and others, see and

Seems like Toho's ridiculous attack on Dave is a way to get a precedent before
attacking Mozilla.
Whether or not Toho's intention is to build a precedent, my (limited 
(IANAL)) understanding of trademark law suggests that in order to
protect what they are trying to protect, Toho cannot stop with Dave
but must come after as well.  Netscape is now the least
of our worries.  Two options:

1.  WONTFIX this bug and develop art that does not include anything
    reptilian.  This also solves the Netscape issues.

2.  Prepare to defend.  

IANAL, but it seems to me the length of time that this infringement
has been going on unchecked is in some way relevant if solution 2 
is attempted.  

For the zilla suffix:
How long has Netscape been using the word "Mozilla" in connection
with its browser?  How long has this been generally known (i.e.,
how long has UA sniffing been a common practice)?  How many other
browsers, besides Mozilla, use the "Mozilla" name in the UA string?

For the reptilian logos:
When was the first reptilian Mozilla/Netscape logo introduced?  
When was the green mozilla introduced?  How long has 
been using the current red Mozilla logo?  How many other third-party 
sites use this logo in reference to the Mozilla organisation or 
codebase?  How many other organisations are using the "zilla" suffix 
together with reptilian logos, and how long have they been doing so?
Netscape has been using the code name Mozilla since this first version of
navigator, around 1994-5 (see Netscape museum, )

UA sniffing has been used by webservers since before 1995. IE copies the early
Netscape UA strings because some webservers would not work properly without the
word Mozilla in the UA string. (sound familier?)

They have been using the green mozilla since about the same time - note the
copyright date on

Netscape first launched, using the Red Mozilla on 31st March 1998.

If this person did sue for using the word Mozilla (so that is
already the AOL TimeWarner lawyers), would they then also need to sue Microsoft
and Opera to get them to change thier UA strings too (which would make life a
lot simplier :)

I expect this will come to nothing anyway.
As far as I remember, Netscape HAS been sued by Godzilla's owners and won way 
back in like 1995. Does anyone remember anything about this?

"I think it's an example of a trademark owner looking for a small, relatively 
innocuous player to make an example of," said Eric Goldman, assistant 
professor at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wis., and former 
chief counsel for Epinions. "They tried and didn't succeed with Sears, so if 
you fail against the people with money, then you go and look for small fry and 
see if you can try to get them to change their behavior."


In an attempt to level the playing field somewhat between large corporations 
that pursue individuals with limited legal and financial resources, a group of 
law schools together with the Electronic Frontier Foundation created a site 
called the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse, where people can go for help in 
responding to corporate lawyers who challenge their online activities.

>> They have been using the green mozilla since about the same time - note the
copyright date on <<

Mozzy! I'm so sorry, but I so had to say that. I hadn't seen that little guy in
years. GOD did that bring back memories of Netscape 1.0. HAHAHAHAAHAHA

I just read on a CNet page that "supposidly" that AOL and Toho has already hased
out Mozilla and it's use for this project. Even not, Zilla is used like
'Bandaid' these days. If I have my trademarks right, it's copywritted by Johnson
& Johnson. And if I don't have my trademarks right, you get the idea. It's a
mute point. =)
It does no look like I can vote for this so CCing self
Blocks: 196932
By failing to enforce 'Zilla', Godzilla has lost his power to sue Mozilla
(besides Mozilla is a stronger lizard). Mozilla (Green) is owned by
AOLTW-Netscape. The red Mozilla is not in violation of the green mozilla or
Netscape would have said so already. is the owner of red Mozilla,
however if they don't settle this issue soon the world will assume it is public
domain and will effectivly lose its rights.

BTW. Green Mozilla can still be found on a few of the pages linked to by the
oldest browsers, the context has been removed but Green Mozilla is there allong
with a statement that the contents have been removed.
Some questions:

Has AOL given all their rights to Mozilla Foundation now?
Could this mean the Lizard might come back?
<> says "AOL will also
contribute additional resources through equipment, domain names and trademarks,
and related intellectual property..."

Is the Lizard part of those resources?
The Mozilla Foundation uses the orange dino.   The Green Lizard won't be coming
back, at least not from us, it didn't come to us in the AOL spin-off.  We have
basic description of use of images at:  We may develop more elaborate
or revised policies over time.

I believe that the basic goal of this bug has been resolved.

Closed: 20 years ago
Resolution: --- → FIXED
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